The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its partners provide the technology advances and technical assistance necessary to increase the use of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) across America. CHP provides efficient, clean, reliable, and affordable energy for today and the future.

  • Nations around the globe seek to prevent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from rising with projected increases in energy demand. CHP is an affordable option to reduce energy intensity, stimulate competitiveness, and curtail carbon emissions.
  • DOE's technology advances and market transformation efforts have already helped to establish CHP in many large industrial applications. Continuing efforts to improve CHP reliability, efficiency, and cost effectiveness are opening new opportunities in smaller industrial applications, commercial buildings, and elsewhere.
  • If CHP were to supply 20% of U.S. electricity generating capacity by 2030, the projected increases in CO2 emissions would be cut by 60%.
  • What Is Combined Heat & Power?

    CHP is an integrated set of technologies for the simultaneous, on-site production of electricity and useful heat.
    The hallmark of CHP is exceptional energy efficiency. This is achieved by making use of the heat produced during power generation and avoiding the losses from transmission over the grid.
    Today, CHP offers an economical way to achieve multiple national goals:
  • Save energy (more than 1.8% of annual U.S. energy use)
  • Reduce CO emissions (248 million metric tons annually)
  • Boost competitiveness, job creation, and energy security
  • The United States Lags Other Nations in CHP Usage Relative to Total Power Capacity

  • CHP already produces more than 20% of the electricity in some European nations. Their climates, building densities, and energy policies support this high level of CHP penetration. While America cannot replicate these conditions, much can be done to overcome the barriers that now limit the adoption of CHP.
  • DOE Supports Technology R&D

    New and improved CHP technologies are needed to expand current markets and open new opportunities. ITP research teams are working to achieve the following:
  • Maximize CHP energy efficiency.
  • Increase CHP fuel flexibility.
  • Capture additional waste streams.
  • Expand the variety of applications.
  • ITP's technology R&D program for CHP focuses on two main areas:
  • Component Technologies that improve efficiency, lower emissions, and facilitate new applications for advanced turbines, advanced reciprocating engine systems, microturbines, and thermally activated technologies
  • Integrated Energy Systems with “plug and play” capability for new markets at commercial and small industrial facilities
  • DOE Market Transformation

    ITP works with diverse partners to remove market or institutional barriers and achieve wider adoption of CHP systems. Special attention is focused on high-growth markets such as commercial and institutional buildings. Activities emphasize achievement of the following objectives:

  • Provide local technical assistance and educational support through the CHP Regional Application Centers (RACs).
  • Leverage partnerships with other federal agencies, states, utilities, and others to conduct technology and others to conduct technology
  • Promote CHP and its benefits through demonstrations. ITP's successful Save Energy Now outreach and education initiative.
  • CHP Provides Resiliency

    When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, the Mississippi Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, MS, remained open and operational despite the loss of grid power for several days. The hospital's gas turbine CHP system provided electricity, hot water, and cooling service beyond what could be provided by its backup generators alone.
    The hospital provided emergency food and shelter on the first night of the disaster and continued to serve as the only functional hospital in the Jackson Metro Area

    CHP Provides a Profitable Path to “Going Green”

  • Hospitals, universities, and manufacturers have installed hundreds of CHP systems because they offer a cost-effective way to meet their energy requirements. As more businesses and institutions take steps to “green” their campuses, they find that CHP technology is not only more affordable than other options it provides a net cost savings.
  • A Strong Energy Portfolio for a Strong America

    Energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy will mean a stronger economy, a cleaner environment, and greater energy independence for America.
    Working with a wide array of state, community, industry, and university partners, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in a diverse portfolio of energy technologies.
    For more information contact:
    EERE Information Center
    1-877-EERE-INF (1-877-337-3463)

    CHP Supplies Clean and Reliable Energy

    CHP is a realistic, near-term option for large energy efficiency improvements and significant CO2 reductions.

    CHP can reduce CO2 emissions, offset imported energy, create job opportunities, and improve local economies. The adoption of CHP empowers individuals, companies, and communities by providing local energy solutions.

  • Provides the reliable and affordable energy service that is required for economic growth
  • Improves the resiliency of our energy infrastructure
  • Operates with domestically produced and renewable fuels
  • Offers businesses security against service interruptions due to natural or man-made disasters
  • Provides businesses and the nation with a competitive advantage from improved energy-efficienc

  • CHP stimulates the economy by utilizing local labor forces and largely domestically-produced components

    CHP Savings Potential
    240 Gigawatts (the equivalent of 200-300 coal-fired pwer plants)
    5 Quads of energy savings
    848 million metric tons of annual CO2 emissions reduction

    DOE Investments in CHP Technologies Over the Past 10 years Have Resulted in Over 85 GW of Installed CHP

  • The Industrial Technologies Program (ITP), part of the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Ener, is committed to researching and developing technologies that will improve national energy security, climate and environment, and economic competitiveness.
  • Combined Heat and Power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, is the simultaneous production of electricity and heat. Instead of purchasing power from a local utility for electricity, and then burning oil or gas in a furnace to produce heat, CHP accomplishes this in one energy-efficient step. As a result, CHP improves efficiency and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
  • CHP Capacity State by State
    CHP is broadly applicable across the entire US. Distributed energy is often locally owned and controlled making energy consumers and communities direct stakeholders in their own energy supply.

    DOE’s investments in CHP have reduced energy consumption by the equivalent of 36 million U.S. households and have reduced CO2 emissions as much as removing over 72 million cars from the road.

    Technology Development Goals

  • Improve energy efficiency
  • Develop systems that exceed the most stringent emissions regulations
  • Develop systems capable of operating on renewable and waste fuels
  • Demonstration of CHP systems in industrial, commercial, and institutional sites in a variety of locations throughout the US
  • Validate performance and reliability
  • R&D Needs

    Component Development

    Systems Development

    Technology Validation

  • Full-Scale Prototype and Pre-Commercial Demonstration of:
  • Market Transformation and Commercialization

  • CHP is one of the few commercially available technologies in the marketplace for achieving near-term results. Much work must still be done to improve the performance and cost of the systems. Many institutional and regulatory barriers to adoption still remain.
  • ITP will work with local, public, and private stakeholders to:
  • Energy Policy Legislation

    Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005)
  • Authorized increased Federal focus on distributed energy (DE) research, development, demonstration and policy support, including authorization of $730 million for DE over the next three years
  • Reaffirmed the critical role DE can play in enhancing the efficienc, reliability, security and flexibility of the Nations energy infrastructure through solutions applied at the local level
  • Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007)
  • Will encourage increased production of clean renewable fuels, increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles,and improve the energy performance of the Federal Government
  • EISA included provisions and authorizations related to CHP, waste heat recovery and distributed energy. That language included the following:
  • For more information contact:
    EERE Information Center
    1-877-EERE-INF (1-877-337-3463)